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Health Literacy: An Essential Ingredient for Better Health Outcomes – Overview of Health Literacy Theoretical Concepts

Health Literacy: An Essential Ingredient for Better Health Outcomes – Overview of Health Literacy Theoretical Concepts
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Author(s): Glenda Denson Knight (Cutting Edge Health Options, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 29
Source title: Medical Education and Ethics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0978-3.ch002

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Abstract

The design of the U.S. healthcare system along with increasing expectations of individuals create barriers to health care. One barrier is limited Health Literacy (HL). This essential healthcare ingredient is often disregarded (Murphy-Knoll, 2007). There is debate concerning the definition of HL (Sorensen, Van den Broucke, Fullam, Doyle, Pelikan, Slonska, & Brand, 2012). Still, there is consensus that HL is necessary for quality healthcare (Parker & Gazmararian, 2003) and that HL deficiencies must be addressed. Limited HL independently contributes to poorer health status, greater risk of hospitalizations, and increased likelihood of mortality (Hanchate, Ash, Gazmararian, Wolf, & Paasche-Orlow, 2008; Jeppesen, Coyle, & Miser, 2009). Much is known about HL. Still, few advancements have been made due to gaps between what we know about HL, and the application of that knowledge (Ishikiawa & Kiuchi, 2010). The purpose of this chapter is to provide a HL overview and recommend improvement strategies.

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